Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back Basting Applique

While the kids were home for winter break it seemed a shame to spend so much time alone in my sewing room, so I thought I'd start a hand applique project I could work on anywhere--even on the couch with the kids. I'd been wanting to sew a store sample from Jo Morton's new Crimson Bouquet line so I picked out some fabrics and picked an applique pattern from her book, Coming Home. I even decided to try a new-for-me applique technique called Back Basting.

Here's how you do it:

Trace the applique design onto the back of your background fabric. Lay the applique fabric on top of the background fabric (wrong side of applique fabric to right side of background fabric) and baste stitch with smallish stitches on the marked line using a larger needle (No. 9) and quilting thread. You use a large needle and thicker thread because you're trying to perforate the fabric so it will turn easily where you stitched. After you've completed the basting stitches, leave the project alone for a day to set the stitching holes.

Cut away the excess applique fabric, leaving a little more than 1/8th inch seam allowance.

Using applique thread that matches the applique fabric and your applique needle of choice, needle turn the raw edge under and whip stitch down. Use a pair of small sharp scissors to cut the basting thread in front of your stitching. You can use your needle to 'pull out' the little bits of basting thread. (Eww . . . don't look too closely at the stitching below. This was done while watching a rerun of 30 Rock around 11:30pm. I think I need to start going to bed earlier.)

After stitching a few blocks, I can tell you that although this isn't my way to applique, it's the perfect technique for doing this type of block--one with the tiny stems that meet in the middle. I don't think I could have gotten the center 'cross' to line up very well had I been using my regular needle turn method.


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